Our team prides itself on our energy. We’ve got plenty of it.
It wasn’t until this lovely reading of Surat Mudatthir (The Cloaked One) by Dalia Mogahed did I reflect on this trait of ours.
While this talk is primarily aimed at MSA members (Muslim Student Association) and their role in the public eye, there are many gems to be found if you’re involved in any sort of community work, as we are.
- Engaging in community work or social activism
Dalia Mogahed is very blunt about the reality of working to serve your community. She does not hide the fact of that there are many obstacles and “very little glory.”
Our team has many times heard that what we’re doing is pointless or that our goals are out of reach. This rhetoric is something we continue to struggle against. We strive to focus on the work to serve our community, despite how disheartening it can sometimes feel.
She discusses the difficulty of walking this path from personal experiences and encourages the listener to reflect on their own intentions in pursuit of this work.
- Your intentions and spiritual health
Check your intentions.
Always ask yourself: Why am I doing this, what am I doing this for, who am I doing this for?
I’ve tried this myself and found that it actually helps. Regularly checking my intentions is a good indicator of my spiritual state. Mogahed even mentions that if you are not up to par spiritually – if you are not making your prayers and actively working on purifying your heart – your community work or activism has to take a back seat.
It is through the purification of your heart that you are ready to give this work your honest all.
“Divorce yourself of the outcomes.”
This is an empowering and motivating notion akin to the reminder by Nouman Ali Khan. I wrote about this back in February.
What is in your control is how hard you work, not the outcomes.
Often in a group setting our energy can be overwhelming. We aim, plan and gear ourselves up to do it all! But when we walk away from the group, at our individual levels, many of our big plans end up falling through. This can be due to many reasons, many of them out of our control. Sometimes, we burn out.
But bringing back the focus to our Creator, to our purpose, is revitalising. It is a life force within itself, making sure that our primary Sustainer is Allah (SWT).
Personally, I have found this talk to really shape the way I approach my role in the HFB team and also beyond.
Before writing this post, for example, I reminded myself to say “bismillah” and made an intention for this post to be of some benefit. It may seem incredibly minor but that tiny notion of remembrance goes a long way for me.
It reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing and who I’m doing it for.
You can watch Dalia Mogahed’s brilliant talk below and find us here.